North Park Anglers, CO

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Outfitter in Walden, Colorado

North Park Anglers, CO

Overview

This picturesque valley is surrounded by five designated wilderness areas and plentiful National Forest lands that are speckled with high alpine lakes and streams, not footprints. These waters thrive with native Cutthroats and Brook Trout that are eager to take a fly and unaccustomed to the presence of humans. Long, cold winters bring above-average snowpack, which ensures ample water throughout the season to the waters below. The smaller high country streams combine to create the meadow streams or tributary streams that flow out of the foothills and into the meadows. As the gradient reduces, water slow's, and begins meandering through willow-lined hay meadows. Never-ending oxbows, overhanging willows, and deep cut banks are the hiding places of much larger specimens including wild Browns and feisty Rainbows. Anglers find that larger offerings are what it takes to entice these elusive fish, leave your light tippets and micro flies at home because here it's, "go big or go home." Once the meadow streams combine, a world-class fishery is born, the North Platte. Two distinct sections within miles of each other make this river unique. In the valley, the river characteristics consist of a slow meandering meadow river with classic wide riffles, deep runs, and braids.

On the river's journey northward it tumbles into the spectacular Northgate Canyon near the Wyoming/Colorado state line where steep canyon walls, boulder fields, and dreamy dry fly flats are loaded with wild populations of wily Browns and Rainbows. Caddis, mayflies, stoneflies, crustacean's, and terrestrials flourish in this cool, clean, canyon environment, offering not only sustenance for trout but ample opportunities for anglers wishing to match the hatch. Within the valley, numerous stillwaters referred to as “sagebrush” lakes attract anglers in pursuit of trout growing to true trophy potential. In particular, the Delaney Buttes, designated as Gold Medal waters by the state of Colorado, are the quintessential trout factories where fish can grow up to one inch per month due to the abundance of food. Aquatic insects such as scuds, Callibaetis mayflies, chironomids, damselflies and more offer a buffet of trout food in addition to crayfish, leeches, and minnows.

Fly Shop

North Park Anglers (NPA) is far different than most fly shops. NPA is an Orvis Endorsed Outfitter and was recently named “Outfitter Of The Year” in 2015, and oh yeah, we're the only fly shop/ guide service within 60 miles in any direction. While we offer the amenities one would expect from a quality fly shop; retail products, guide services, and expert advice, we also offer much more as we have the very fortunate and unique situation of belonging to large ranching and outfitting family of businesses based here in beautiful North Park. North Park Anglers is the retail and fly fishing arm of our outfitting business, Buffalo Creek Outfitters, LLC. Our ranches encompass nearly 18,000 acres of private land where we raise beef cattle and mountain meadow hay as well as providing hunting, fly fishing, lodging and other forms of outdoor recreation. The Buffalo Creek Ranch, located about 20 miles south of Walden, is our “home ranch” and the site of our full-service lodge. Other area ranches that we own and operate are the Headwaters Ranch, the Illinois River Ranch, and land located around Meadow Creek Reservoir and Pole Mountain. And since we are the only North Platte fly fishing shop within miles, we feel it is pretty crucial that we stock all of the essential fly fishing gear so that our customers can get what they need if they've forgotten something at home.

New in 2013, we have leased the fishing rights on an additional 80,000-acre ranch located in the North Park area and are now offering a private fly fishing club. The North Park Anglers Fly Fishing Club (NPAFFC). Members of NPAFFC enjoy unguided access to more than 50 miles of private trout streams, and seven trophy still waters as well as lodging opportunities in streamside cabins. The member's clubhouse, The Liars Lair, is located on the second floor of the North Park Anglers shop.

Are you confused yet? What does this mean for you, our valued customer? In simplest terms; if you're looking for quality fly fishing gear, friendly advice about our area, unique lodging opportunities, or exceptional trout fishing in one of the most beautiful regions of the Rocky Mountains, we have you covered. But don't forget, with the variety of our services, we can also provide you a guided elk hunt, a family vacation stay on our ranches, and even some beef for your freezer or hay for your horses.

FAQs

Season:

April 1-November 30

Species:

Trout: Rainbow, brown, brook, cutthroat

Region/Terrain:

This picturesque valley is surrounded by five designated wilderness areas and plentiful National Forest lands that are speckled with high alpine lakes and streams, not footprints. These waters thrive with native Cutthroats and Brook Trout that are eager to take a fly and unaccustomed to the presence of humans. Long, cold winters bring above-average snowpack, which ensures ample water throughout the season to the waters below. The smaller high country streams combine to create the meadow streams or tributary streams that flow out of the foothills and into the meadows. As the gradient reduces, water slow's, and begins meandering through willow-lined hay meadows. Never-ending oxbows, overhanging willows, and deep cut banks are the hiding places of much larger specimens including wild browns and feisty rainbows. Anglers find that larger offerings are what it takes to entice these elusive fish, leave your light tippets and micro flies at home because here it's, 'go big or go home.' Once the meadow streams combine, a world-class fishery is born, the North Platte. Two distinct sections within miles of each other make this river unique. In the valley, the river characteristics consist of a slow, meandering meadow river with classic wide riffles, deep runs, and braids.

On the river's journey northward, it tumbles into the spectacular Northgate Canyon near the Wyoming/Colorado state line where steep canyon walls, boulder fields, and dreamy dry fly flats are loaded with wild populations of wily browns and rainbows. Caddis, mayflies, stoneflies, crustacean's, and terrestrials flourish in this cool, clean, canyon environment, offering not only sustenance for trout but ample opportunities for anglers wishing to match the hatch. Within the valley, numerous stillwaters referred to as 'sagebrush' lakes attract anglers in pursuit of trout growing to true trophy potential. In particular, the Delaney Buttes, designated as Gold Medal waters by the state of Colorado, are the quintessential trout factories where fish can grow up to one inch per month due to the abundance of food. Aquatic insects such as scuds, Callibaetis mayflies, chironomids, damselflies and more offer a buffet of trout food in addition to crayfish, leeches, and minnows.

Typical Weather:

In the spring and fall the weather can rain and snow but average temps are usually in the low 60s F. During the summer months, our average temperatures are in the high 70s to low 80s.

Rates:

You can find all pricing information at: northparkanglers.com/fly-fishing-trips/rates/

What is Provided:

Our trips are all-inclusive; waders, boots, rods, and reels are included on all trips.

Half-day trips include: One leader, terminal tackle, 6-8 flies, transportation to and from the fly shop, four hours of fishing, and drinks.

Full day and float trips: Include one leader, terminal tackle, 8-12 flies, lunch and beverages, transportation to and from the fly shop, and eight hours of fishing.

Not included: Discretionary guide gratuity. A large part of a guides wage is gratuities, and we encourage you to take care of your guide if they took good care of you.

Gear Recommendations:

What size fly rod should I bring?

North Park is very diverse and fly rods from 2-8 wt. can be very useful. However, on a typical guide trip with North Park Anglers, a 9-foot, 5 or 6-wt. fly rod, with a weight- forward fly line is perfect. If you don't have one, we'll provide one. Feel free to contact the shop a few days before your trip to see what we recommend.

What type of leader and tippet?

We recommend letting your guide pick out a fresh leader for the day. Early in the season we generally use 7 1/2 -9 foot, 2 and 3x leaders. As the season progresses, we'll use 7 1/2 -9 foot 4x and 5x leaders. This can change by the day and river, and each guide has their preferences.

What kind of clothes should I bring?

Bring rain gear no matter what the weather report forecasts. If you don't have rain gear, we'll have extras (but can't guarantee they fit just right). Also, bring a fleece or other type of jacket (even in August). In the spring and fall bring winter hats and gloves, and also have warm fleece or heavy-duty long johns to wear under waders. In North Park, when storms roll through it gets cold fast, even in the summer.

What to Bring:

We recommend that you bring the following items for a great day of fishing: Waders, boots, rod and reel, vest or pack, fishing equipment, net, polarized sunglasses, a hat, clothing to layer, backpack, rain jacket, bug repellent, sunscreen, a camera or phone, and a sense of adventure. If you don't have all of these items don't worry, our trips are all-inclusive (all gear included) and our guides carry everything but the kitchen sink, and they'll be happy to lend you items for the day.

Other:

What's included in a guided fishing trip with NPA?

All trips with NPA include the use of high-quality Orvis fly rods, reels, waders, and boots. Half-day trips include one leader, terminal tackle, 6-8 flies, transportation to and from the fly shop, 4 hours of fishing, and drinks. Full-day and float trips include one leader, terminal tackle, 8-12 flies, lunch and beverages, transportation to and from the fly shop and eight hours of fishing.

What time of year is best?

We guide trips from April through October. Every month of the season has its perks, and there is always good fishing to be had. Different fisheries are better at different times of the year, but since we fish so many different rivers, streams, creeks, lakes and private ranches something is always fishing well.

Do you rent gear?

All of our trips include the use of high-quality Orvis waders, boots, rods, and reels. We do rent high-quality Orvis gear as well.

What rivers and lakes do you fish?

Most of the waters we fish are located in North Park. There are a few streams we fish that are just outside the park but are still part of our system and tributaries of the North Platte River. For a list of waters we have access to guide both public and private, please refer to the 'guide service page'.

Are fishing licenses included in the cost of the trip?

No. Licenses are not included in the cost of the trip. We do sell both Colorado and Wyoming licenses in our fly shop, and we'll be happy to get you the appropriate license before the trip. Licenses are sold by cash or check only. Licenses can also be purchased at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Service web page at http://wildlife.state.co.us/ShopDOW/AppsAndLicenses/Pages/totallicensing.aspx

What is a typical guide gratuity?

A typical gratuity for a guide is 20% of the cost of the guide fee. An average tip is anywhere from $75-$150, where $100 for a full day is the average. Gratuity is not mandatory but is very much appreciated. This is an essential part of a guide's income so please consider a nice tip if you feel like your guide worked hard to give you a great experience.

What size fly rod should I bring?

North Park is very diverse and fly rods from 2-8 weights can be very useful. However, on a typical guide trip with North Park Anglers, a 9 ft., 5 or 6 wt. fly rod, with a weight-forward fly line is perfect. If you don't have one, we'll provide one. Feel free to contact the shop a few days before your trip to see what we recommend.

What type of leader and tippet?

We recommend letting your guide pick out a fresh leader for the day. Early in the season, we generally use 7_-9 ft., 2x and 3x leaders. As the season progresses, we'll use 7 1/2 -9 ft., 4x and 5x leaders. This can change by the day and river, and each guide has their preferences.

What kind of clothes should I bring?

Bring rain gear no matter what the weather report forecasts. If you don't have rain gear, we'll have extras (but can't guarantee they fit just right). Also, bring a fleece or other type of jacket (even in August). In the spring and fall bring winter hats and gloves, and also have warm fleece or heavy-duty long johns to wear under waders. In North Park, when storms roll through it gets cold fast, even in the summer.

Where should I meet my guide?

All trips start at the fly shop. Make sure to call (970) 723-4215 a few days before the trips to get an official start time. We typically meet between 7-8 a.m., but that can change depending on river/lake location and fishing conditions.

What can I expect to catch?

North Park is known for wild brown trout. With that being said, we enjoy a very diverse fishery. Depending on location we'll target browns, rainbows, brookies, and cutthroat. Most browns and rainbows average 12-16 inches in size with some going over 20 inches.

Is there a medical facility in North Park?

Yes, we have a medical clinic.

Additional Activities:

Within the park, there are many trailheads great for hiking and biking. There are also a few outfitters that offer horseback riding around the park. Within a short drive from North Park in all directions, towns are offering other activities. North of Walden 1 hour is Saratoga, Wyoming, which is famous for natural hot springs. To the West, one hour is Steamboat Springs, which offers many activities such as, horseback riding, hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, and great shopping. And to the South of Walden is Grand County, which features three great Mountain towns, Winter Park, Grand Lake, and Rocky Mountain National Park. Winter Park is well known for its Alpine Slide and Mountain Bike trails.

Reviews



North Park Anglers
Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Outfitters
Scott Graham
524 Main Street
Walden, CO 80480
2015 Orvis-Endorsed Outfitter of the Year

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